Headphones are required. There is a lot going on, and you’re going to want to catch every single note of it!
Candle’s ‘demo’ release opens with “Betrayal”, showcasing this Swedish five piece as they crush you with an almost stadium style anthem sound…vast and captivating or at the least – interesting. With eyes closed, I’m taken back in my mind to the Oakland Coliseum circa 1987 as those drums start kicking in and your mind transitions to the voice of Erik Nordkvist; haunting, heavy, Dickinson-ish and also very original. Candle has a Heavy Raw Metal sound with great vocals and a drum and guitar section that constantly revs you up, then crashes you down to earth with no pillow – smashing your senses into pieces across the bedroom floor.
“Betrayal” is heavy without going overboard or trying to be anything it’s not. Just pure Metal, with elements of speed and deafening claps of thunder from Pihlajainen. Next up, we move to “Dancing Lights”, which has a bit of a mellow start. But fear not, it soon takes you over with the highs of Nordkvist and crashing drums from Jorma Pihlajainen. The themes and styles are a throw back to sounds of the 80s, and this is exactly what we need…and are expecting. This song brings you to a familiar place in your mind, relaxing as the emotions of a pure spectral sound envelopes your senses and leaves you in a state of trance. The five minutes of this track are plenty to prod the ego of our dark spirits, and reinforce the power that is Candle. At this point you are probably hooked…but hang tight.
My favorite track is “Frozen with Fear”. It begins with more of a doom sound, and the vocals also change up to accommodate this. It plows through for a bit, then when you think you have it figured out the tempo changes again – screeching guitars and heavy metal solos. Around the 2 minute mark, you can hear the talent of the musicians just take over and continue with melodic dark vocals preceded by the echoing of the spirits of beyond, then breaking into further guitar solos and a jam style that I’ve always loved in Metal music. And they do it well. Janis and Kanto shred consistently and constantly with heavy bass lines provided by Juhani Pihlajainen. Candle has full control over their sound, not having to be pigeon holed and instead use multiple influences in their production. You can hear King Diamond, Dio, Iron Maiden, Priest and other masters of that era, but in the end Candle doesn’t sound like any of these – they sound like Candle.
Ending with “No peace for my Soul”, I loved this 4 song demo. The production values are very high for a released entitled ‘Demo’, but it somehow remains a bit raw sounding, even though there is no mistaking the tight and well orchestrated sound. I love the fact that I am reviewing a ‘demo’; it reminded me of the tape demo days and trading around for new bands and sounds. Can these guys release a full album with the same raw energy, talent and power that these four songs deliver? One can only wait and see, but I’ll definitely be in line and ready when it’s released.
Label: Fighter Records
Genre: Heavy Metal
Album: 2016 Demo
Jorma Pihlajainen – Drums
Erik Nordkvist – Vocals
Markus Janis – Guitar
Juhani Pihlajainen – Bass
Christian Kanto – Guitar